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Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Dear Prof Kleschinsky,

I found the most recent version of The Dram even more helpful than usual as I am at the end of an assessment of the training GPs in a small part of the south of England need in order to offer alcohol screening & brief intervention. As my recommendations are going to include encouraging greater use of on-line resources I shall make reference to the current Dram in support of it.

Although not, strictly speaking, an observation on this piece of research, one of the ideas that causes a good deal of dissent among health & social care professionals, both medical & non-medical, is the category of hazardous or excessive (or risky) drinking, especially in the context of the Single Alcohol Screening Question. Many find the idea that drinking in excess of 60g of alcohol (= just over 3 imperial pints, or about 1.75 litres, of Guinness) more than once in 3 months could be the starting point for exploring a possible alcohol use disorder highly amusing; this being the right amount to get a typical English Friday or Saturday evening started.

Although It's probably a bit late now & while acknowledging a statistical increase in risk among people consistently drinking more than 20 or 30g of ethyl alcohol/day, I sometimes think the current terminology can impede rather than increase alcohol awareness & wish there was a better way of describing drinking that falls between low-risk & harmful.


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